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Licensing Policy and Licensing Act 2003

In autumn 2005, the Licensing Act 2003 made sweeping changes to the previous licensing arrangements. Perhaps the most significant of these changes is that district councils have taken over (from local Magistrates) the responsibility for licensing the sale of alcohol

Man and Women working at desk

This means that Colchester Borough Council are now issuing all licences for the sale of alcohol for pubs, clubs, restaurants, supermarkets and shops in the Borough. Anyone wishing to sell alcohol after autumn 2005 will need to apply to the Council for a licence.
It will also mean that anyone putting on a performance of a play, film show, indoor sporting event, live music or dance, or recorded music will need a licence from the Council. Another new requirement is that anyone selling hot food or hot drink between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.00am must hold a licence from the Council to be able to do so.

Two types of licence will be needed to comply with the Act. These are a Personal licence and a Premises licence. Anyone wishing to supply alcohol, or put on an entertainment event, or sell hot food or drink after 11.00pm and between 5.00am will generally be required to hold both a Personal licence and a Premises licence.

The Licensing Act 2003 specifically promotes four "Licensing Objectives", which are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. Every licence-holder will have to ensure that their business is run in a way that promotes these licensing objectives.

The Council must take the Licensing objectives into account when considering applications and also has to consult on all applications it receives with a variety of stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders, like the Police and Fire Authority, are statutory consultees and others, such as residents' associations for example, are not. However, all consultees must consider the four licensing objectives in relation to any representations that they may wish to make on an application.

Colchester's Licensing Policy

Before the new system came into force, the Council published a Statement of Licensing Policy giving instruction and guidance on how the Council will administer applications and how it will expect applicants to promote the four licensing objectives.
The first part of the document outlines the development of this policy, and Colchester's special policy on cumulative impact, binge drinking and operating hours. The second part of the document explains the Council's policy with regards to the four licensing objectives, how applications will be handled and the information that needs to be submitted with applications.

This policy forms the basis of the Council's decision making over the next 3 years for licensing under the Licensing Act 2003.

The current Policy Document(s) may be downloaded from the links below:

pdf icon Colchester's Licensing Policy [1Mb]

pdf icon List of Responsible Authorities [21kb]

How to Contact Us

You may contact us about the Council's Licensing Policy by the following means:-

Post to: Licensing Specialist Unit, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 3WG